Picture curtsey of lusi
Wednesday, 8 May 2013
World Ovarian Cancer Day
As many of our ovarian cancer travel insurance customers will know, today 8th May 2013 marks the first World Ovarian Cancer Day. The day is for ovarian cancer organisations around the world to unite and educate their communities about ovarian cancers and its symptoms.
Unlike more common cancers, ovarian cancer is far harder to detect, which is a challenge globally. There is not an easy test like a mammogram or smear test to act as an early warning sign. The symptoms of ovarian cancer are similar to those of less serious illnesses, therefore it tends to be diagnosed later resulting in harsher or more radical treatments and poorer outcomes.
Education of symptoms is one of the most important elements in fighting ovarian cancer which is why this global day of awareness is so important. So today please make sure you make at least 5 of your female friends aware of the symptoms of ovarian cancer.
The symptoms are:
· Increased abdominal size/persistent bloating (not bloating that comes and goes)
· Difficulty eating/feeling full quickly
· Abdominal or pelvic pain
· Needing to pass urine more urgently or more frequently
There is more information about ovarian cancer and its symptoms on the Target Ovarian Cancer web site.
Tuesday, 7 May 2013
“Who Cares Award” Nominations have now closed
Further to my original blog, the nominations for our “Who
Cares Award” have now closed. I have
been going through the nominations this morning and have been amazed by the
nominees and their stories; I will admit tears have been shed.
Picture curtsey of kipcurry
The idea behind the awards was to recognise the selfless work carers do and the sacrifices they make, and hi-light the fact that anyone can become a carer. It is not a job you necessarily apply for, but if a family member or loved one becomes ill or has an accident and can no longer look after themselves you automatically step in. Many carers give up work to care and this can have a big impact on the family finances, some cares work and care, all of them give up their normal lives and things that people take for granted such as holidays or something as simple as an evening out.
Every carer has a story of why they are caring and I am delighted that so many of you have shared your stories with us, but now for the very difficult job of picking the 2 finalists. Thankfully this is not for me to decide, we are very luck to have Andrew Holt, the Editor of Charity Times as our judge so it is over to him now. We will let you know who the 2 finalists are in a couple of weeks.
Tuesday, 16 April 2013
Never Too Young
|Picture curtsey of 436ocw|
As many of our cancer travel insurance customers will know, April is Bowel Cancer Awareness Month. One of the themes this year is awareness for those under 50, reminding everyone you are never too young to get bowel cancer. According to Bowel Cancer UK the number of people under 50 being diagnosed with bowel cancer is slowly rising. In 2009, the latest year figures are available for, 2,132 people under 50 were diagnosed with bowel cancer, compared to 1999, when 1,698 people under 50 were diagnosed, over the decade the increase has been just over 25% which is a concern.
The main problem in diagnosing bowel cancer or, any cancer, in those under 50 is often misdiagnosis. In younger people the medical profession tend to leave cancer last to rule out, furthermore the symptoms of bowel cancer can be very similar to other conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), so it is understandable why is can be misdiagnosed. However, the key to a good outcome is early diagnosis, so we need to be aware of the signs of bowel cancer and go to the GP if you have any of the symptoms, and insist that your GP rules out bowel cancer first not last. The symptoms to look out for are:
· Dark or black stools (could indicate bleeding)
· An unexplained change in bowel habits
· Abdominal Pain
· Unexplained weigh loss
· Bloating and/or vomiting
I can’t stress enough that the best outcomes from cancer treatment comes from early diagnosis, so awareness is key. At Insurancewith we are proud to support the cancer charity Fighting All Cancers Together (FACT) who have a range of programmes with local businesses to raise awareness of cancer and its symptoms, and these type of programs are paramount in tackling this disease head on.
Another concern can also be that younger people are more embarrassed to visit their GP and discuss things such as their bowel movements, but trust me you have nothing to be embarrassed about, your GP has heard it all before and then some! So don’t die of embarrassment, make that appointment.
Tuesday, 9 April 2013
Are you prepared to care?
The majority of people won’t understand what I’m asking here, and until I was diagnosed with breast cancer it would have been a question I’d of thought I would never need to consider. How wrong could I have been, when I was diagnosed with breast cancer I had a 5 month old baby, and having chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery left me unable to look after myself let alone a 5 month old baby for a period of 18 months. My husband became my carer, not something you ever envisage happening in your 30’s!Read more »
When my husband was caring for me we didn’t acknowledge he was my carer, he was just doing the things I couldn’t manage, but looking back if we had realised we would of been able to get much more support instead of muddling thorough on our own. This is why campaigns such as Carers Week are so important, Carers Week is a weeklong awareness campaign, aimed at improving the lives of carers and the people they care for. There are 6.4 million carers in the UK and every day at least 6000 people start caring, many of these people will be like my husband and not even consider themselves as carers, they are just doing what anyone would do in their position, looking after their loved ones. Carers Week this year is 10th to 16th June and will focus on how effectively the Government is supporting the growing numbers of carers and the impact of caring on daily life. Furthermore with an aging population and more people getting serious illnesses such as cancer and higher incidences of disability, the number of carers is only set to grow. The Week will also help those already caring to make sure they are finding all the practical and emotional support they need. You can get involved in Carers Week by completing their on-line survey telling them about your experiences of caring.
Thursday, 4 April 2013
Who Cares Award’ launched to search for UK’s most deserving carer
Picture curtsey of lusi
We are really pleased to announced that Insurancewith has launched the ‘Who Cares Award’, with support from charity Genetic Alliance UK, to find the most extraordinary carer in the UK.
The awards will be based on nominations from the public or through dedicated charities of those people who support others, dedicate their lives or put their lives on hold to care for others. Candidates can be young or old, a professional nurse or a relative.
A shortlist of nominations will be submitted to the judging panel, chaired by Andrew Holt, editor of the UK’s leading magazine for the sector, Charity Times. The winner will be announced at a special award lunch at The Little Ship Club, overlooking the River Thames in London, on 12 June 2013 to coincide with this year’s UK Carers Week (10-16 June 2013).
Insurancewith Brand Director Fiona Macrae said: “Everyday thousands of selfless acts takes place across the UK from all walks of life. I know from my own experience, when I suffered from breast cancer, I couldn’t have coped without the support of my husband who carried on working, looking after my son and me while I went through 18 months of treatment.”
“Others do even more and give up everything for a loved one or dedicate their lives to make caring a profession. Over the years, Insurancewith has helped thousands of people take a relaxing break, offering peace of mind that if something goes wrong, we will look after them. We want to take that one step further by creating this award. We are delighted Genetic Alliance UK has decided to support us in this project. We are also privileged to have Charity Times editor Andrew Holt to help judge the winner.”
Genetic Alliance UK assistant director Melissa Hillier added: “Carers are often the unsung heroes dedicating their lives to supporting those they love. Many carers also dedicate time and energy to supporting others in a similar situation through patient support groups. Genetic Alliance UK is thrilled to be involved in this award as we know through our own work supporting those affected by long term genetic conditions that all too often a carer can be overlooked. We look forward to receiving nominations but know that making the final decision will not be easy.”
Award nominations have been issued and the form is available here on the Insurancewith web site.
The closing date for all nominations is 3 May 2013.
Thursday, 28 March 2013
Prostate and Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month drawing to a close
As many of our cancer travel insurance customers will know, this month, March is both Prostate and Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. And both these cancers do require the much needed awareness these months can bring.
Prostate cancer kills 10,000 men a year, this year’s Prostate Cancer Awareness Month people are raising money for the Sledgehammer Fund to help Prostate Cancer UK crack prostate cancer. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men, and is as big an issue for men as breast cancer is for women, yet it doesn’t get nearly the same amount of money for research. The money raised by Sledgehammer will help fund research to gain more understanding of prostate cancer, develop better tests and less invasive treatments. Treatment for this disease can have life changing side effects; therefore as has happened with breast cancer, less invasive treatments need to be researched. You can find out more about the Sledgehammer Fund and how to donate here.
With regards to ovarian cancer, one in 50 women will develop ovarian cancer in their lifetime. For Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, keeping with the 50 theme, a 50’s challenge has been launched by the charity Target Ovarian Cancer. The challenge is to let 50 women know about the symptoms of ovarian cancer with the leaflet from the charity and to raise at least £50 for the charity, using a 50’s themed event. I think that the best thing here is the challenge to let 50 women know the symptoms of ovarian cancer, shockingly only 3% of women know the symptoms of ovarian cancer. Many people think of ovarian cancer as the silent killer, but if you know the symptoms to look out for and the cancer is caught early enough it is very treatable. It is not just women who are unclear of the symptoms, many GP are too so if you do have any symptoms mentioned here, don’t be afraid to ask you GP to “rule out ovarian cancer” if for example they diagnosis you with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), as some of the symptoms are similar to those of ovarian cancer.
I am so proud that Insurancewith donates £1 to charity, (click on the charity links of our web site for more information), for every prostate and ovarian cancer travel insurance policy sold. Without the exceptional work the charities do, we wouldn’t have the awareness days, weeks and months that they organise and promote. These awareness campaigns are vital to fighting diseases such as prostate and ovarian cancer, not only do they raise awareness of symptoms to look out for, and we all know the sooner cancer is found the easier and more successfully it can be treated, they also raise valuable money for research into treatments and cures.
I know that not a week goes by without it being awareness of some medical condition or other, but believe me they are very much worthwhile, and you never know one day you or a loved one may need that charities support.
Friday, 22 March 2013
Cancer the blame game
Who has ever played the cancer blame game? I used to do it all the time, was I
responsible for my cancer, did I drink too much, I was, still am! slightly overweight
etc., etc. With all the things that we
read in the press that causes cancer, it’s no wonder that may people who have
been diagnosed think it is their fault, if they had led their life differently
maybe they wouldn’t have got cancer.
Well I think that it is all nonsense, and yes we can all make changes to
our life styles to stack the odds against getting cancer more in our favour,
but what you cannot do, is say by making these changes that you will never get
cancer. It is a bit like wearing a
helmet when cycling, it is not guarantee that you won’t be killed if you are
knocked off your bike, but it does help stack the odds in your favour.
Picture curtsey of ldejonge
So my advice now I am 8 years down the line is, everything in moderation, I still enjoy a drink, but I don’t drink every day, I still
LOVE cake, but I don’t eat it every
day and I do try and stick to as healthy a diet as possible, and do yoga once a
week. And I do all this, not because I
think it will stop my cancer coming back, but I just want to be able to wear my
clothes without them straining at the seams!